What is Dyspareunia?

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  • Written By: Dulce Corazon
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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Dyspareunia denotes pain experienced by women during sexual intercourse, although men may also experience it due to some medical conditions. The pain can occur before, during the act of sexual intercourse, or even after sex. Some medical conditions and psychological problems can lead to the development of dyspareunia in many women, which frequently results in the avoidance of sexual intercourse or loss of interest in sexual activities.

Common causes of dyspareunia include vaginal irritation caused by soap, foams, douches, a diaphragm, or condoms. Vaginal dryness due to menopause or insufficient lubrication can also lead to a painful sexual experience. Infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, herpes, and genital warts can often lead to dyspareunia. Presence of hemorrhoids, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis are other medical conditions associated with painful sexual intercourse.

Some medications can inhibit desire or lessen arousal in some women. These include antihypertensive drugs, antidepressant drugs, and birth control pills. Other women suffer from vaginismus, which is an involuntary spasm of the muscles in the wall of the vagina. This can often lead to painful sex, making penetration very hard if not impossible.


One of the psychological causes of dyspareunia is previous trauma during sex, as in the case of sexually abused women or rape victims. The act of sexual intercourse may trigger bad memories, causing women to lose interest in the process. Stress can sometimes cause women to experience pain during sex, as can other psychological problems like depression, relationship or marital problems, low self-image, and anxiety. Women who were brought up with the belief that sex is bad are often prone to experience dyspareunia due to feelings of guilt about sex.

Most of the causes of dyspareunia are reversible. Women are generally encouraged to seek medical advise when they experience pain during sex in order to identify its cause. Frequently, the physical problems can be managed by avoiding the products that cause irritation, and treating any infections with medication. Medical problems, such as presence of endometriosis and hemorrhoids, can also be managed by specialists.

Women with psychological problems often undergo sex therapy. Other treatments for dyspareunia include counseling of both members of a couple to improve their communication and help improve their relationship. Experts also recommend the use of lubricants and increase foreplay time to stimulate arousal in women.


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Post 2

There's a new treatment for dyspareunia to cause stem cells to generate new healthy tissue. The procedure is called o-shot which has been very effective with my patients.

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